It goes without saying that ethics is an extremely important aspect of criminalistics work. More often than not, your findings will hold more weight in the outcome of a case than anything else. You basically hold someone's freedom in your hands. With the technological advancements made of late, and the limited number of experts that conduct, analyze, and report their findings have to be up to the standards to maintain professionalism as well as ethical practices. Although there have been instances of misconduct, steps are being taken to try to weed out those unsuitable to work in the field.
The American chemical society demands that its members stick to the utmost degree of ethical standards. As part of this, they came up with "The Chemist's Creed", which basically states that the chemists that are members of the society agree to acknowledge the following responsibilities:
· "Be actively concerned with the health and welfare of co-workers, consumer and the community
seek to advance chemical science, understand the limitations of their knowledge, and respect the truth
remain current with developments in their field
.keep accurate and complete laboratory records, maintain integrity in all conduct and publications
promote and protect the legitimate interests of their employers
treat subordinates with respect for their professionalism
regard the tutelage of students as a trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student's learning and professional development
serve clients faithfully and incorruptibly, respect confidentiality, advise honestly, and charge fairly." (ACS)
Without abiding by these rules, leave way for disastrous consequences. Many individuals have been wrongly accused and convicted based on false evidence, whether accidental or purposefully. If the criminalists and forensic scientists simply disregarded these practices, how are we to have any faith in the world of science in regard to criminal justice? It is our job to...
Bibliography: 1. The American Chemical Society – The Chemist 's Code of Conduct
2. Forensic Science Associates – Ethical Dilemma No. 1
3. News & Politics: "Ethics debate at the crime lab"
April 17, 1998
4. Barnes, Tom – Forensic Scientist for Oregon State Police Crime Lab Portland, Oregon
Interview October 2002
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